Ted Hargreaves

Ted Hargreaves

When I was four I was diagnosed with Autism, and I didn't really know about it until I questioned why I was different.

WHAT SHAPES YOU?
When I was ten I enjoyed being in my class play, so my mum subscribed to St Martins’ newsletter and in the first newsletter she received there was an article asking for five autistic people aged 10-18 with special interests to volunteer to be part of a show and so I volunteered.

If you have a special interest it is an autistic trait that most autistic people have, it’s where you are so interested in one thing that you can pursue that interest to a great extent. My special interest is ever changing, when I was young it was trains and now it is story telling but it used to be Australian animals.

So I met up with other Autistic people (whose interests ranged from linguistics to the royal families) and Amelia Ducker, the person running it. She explained to us all how the show would work, it would work with the audience going into each of our spaces which we’d create around our interest and us telling them about our interest. Amelia helped us all develop how we could present our interest and that March the show was held. And the show was a life-changing experience for me.

It taught me how to speak confidently in front of an audience, it taught me to feel proud of my individuality which I hadn’t previously but most of all, it taught me about who I was and where I stood in the world. And I don’t think I was the only one who felt like that, so thank you Amelia, I wouldn’t be as confident and happy as I am today if it wasn’t for you.

Ted is currently enrolled in our workshops program.


Explore more 40:40 Stories:

Beng Oh
Emilie Collyer
Petra Kalive
Mila Rennie Galvin
Lliam Amor
Kate Hunter
Tariro Mavondo
David Pledger

New stories added weekly.